I had a wonderful, albeit brief visit to Los Angeles this past week. I really wanted to drive up and down the I-5/I-405 corridors to revisit my past haunts, but sadly I got in late in the evening on Wednesday and left relatively early on Friday.
Things I did manage to do--I did manage to drive down to my favorite lunch-time hang-out from my undergrad days: the unfortunately named Soupplantation. Yes, I realize this is an ugly corporate franchise, but I missed having a salad buffet around. ALL YOU CAN EAT ROUGHAGE!
The other wonderful thing was that I knew my way back quickly to the hotel.
So, what changed? Well, my alma mater was almost unrecognizable. Where once there was a single entrance and a single strip of buildings, now the place was a megaplex full of adobe, steel, and glass. It was quite strange to walk down the pathways of what was once a small 5000 student university to what was now double, perhaps triple the student population.
I also realize that I can't stand the heat as much as I did in my undergrad and grad days. 81 degrees killed me. I was so uncomfortable.
As for the reading, there were 9 readers and I was near the end. The reading itself was lovely and each of the readers stuck to their allotted time, including myself (which is always something to be grateful for). My mentors Gail Wronsky and Chuck Rosenthal presided over the affair and beamed like proud parents. I wound up selling very few books but trading many, which I do like to do. And after, many of the alumni readers stayed a bit chatting, gossiping, drinking wine. Alas, I really do wish that I had had more time, or at least that my family had come with me so we could've stayed a bit longer, but the responsibilities of work and of parenting always bring me back.
Oh, and I also listened to a lot of good radio:
White Denim. Heard this on KXLU 88.9, the indie/college radio station of LMU.
4 hours ago